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Occup Environ Med 68:36-43 doi:10.1136/oem.2009.053132
  • Original article

Traffic-related air pollution and pregnancy outcomes in the Dutch ABCD birth cohort study

  1. Bert Brunekreef1,5
  1. 1Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology, Documentation, and Health Promotion, Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Environmental Health, Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  4. 4Centre for Environmental Health Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands
  5. 5Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Ulrike Gehring, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80178, 3508 TD Utrecht, the Netherlands; u.gehring{at}uu.nl
  1. Contributors All authors listed on the paper fulfil the criteria of authorship.

  • Accepted 4 March 2010
  • Published Online First 25 August 2010

Abstract

Objectives There is growing evidence for an adverse effect of maternal exposure to air pollution on pregnancy outcomes. As European data on this topic are limited, the aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution during different periods of pregnancy on preterm birth and fetal growth.

Methods We estimated maternal residential exposure to NO2 during pregnancy (entire pregnancy and trimesters) for 7600 singleton births participating in the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development (ABCD) prospective birth cohort study by means of a temporally adjusted land-use regression model. Associations between air pollution concentrations and preterm birth and fetal growth (expressed as small for gestational age and term birth weight) were analysed by means of logistic and linear regression models with and without adjustment for maternal physiological, lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics.

Results There was no indication of an increase in preterm birth among highly exposed women. Children of mothers with NO2 levels in the highest exposure category on average had the highest term birth weight of all children and were among those with the lowest risk of being small for gestational age with little indication of a dose–response relationship.

Conclusions In this study, there is no evidence for a harmful effect of estimated maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy on pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth, small for gestational age and term birth weight.

Footnotes

  • Funding Financial support for the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development study was granted by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMW) in the Hague, the Netherlands. Ulrike Gehring was supported by a research fellowship from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the medical ethics committees of participating hospitals and the Registration Committee of Amsterdam.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.